A true cultural artifact, Up Your Ass is the work that led to Andy Warhol being shot.
In 1968, Solanas took her manuscript of Up Your Ass to The Factory to persuade Andy Warhol to produce her play. He seemed interested, but later said he had mislaid the manuscript, which Solanas took as an attempt to control her, so she retuned to The Factory with a gun and shot him.
Despite her efforts, this legendary play was never published during Valerie Solanas lifetime, but it is full of her signature irreverence and wit, incisiveness, and camp, exploding social and sexual mores and the hypocritical, patriarchal culture that produces them.
The play, the full title of which is Up Your Ass Or From the Cradle to the Boat Or The Big Suck Or Up from the Slime, marches out a cast of screwy stereotypes: the unknowing john, the frothy career girl, the boring male narcissist, two catty drag queens, the sex-depraved housewife, and a pair of racialized pickup artists, among others. At the centre is protagonist Bongi Perez, a thinly veiled Solanas, as a sardonic, gender-bending hustler who escorts us through the back alleys of her street life.
The fictionalized predecessor to her SCUM Manifesto, the play shares the same grand, subversive, implicative language, equally spitting and winking, embracing the margins and hustling all the way.
Published by Sternberg Press in 2022. Paperback, 94 pages, 12 x 18cm.